The Art & Science of Roasting Coffee

The Art & Science of Roasting Coffee

July 2016

The Art and Science of Roasting Coffee

Roasting coffee is both an art and a science. The roasting process is the most important step because it transforms the properties of a green coffee bean into drinkable coffee. It brings out the natural flavor and aroma locked inside the green beans. Without the roasting, the coffee would not have any flavor.

Coffee beans being put into a roaster
Roasted coffee beans coming out of roaster

To roast the coffee beans, they are brought to very high temperatures then quickly cooled until they are perfect, according to the master roaster.

Roasted coffee beans being cooled

Expert roasters go through years of training to obtain the ability to “read” beans and make roasting decisions quickly. There are few industry standards for roasting because of the huge role the individual roaster plays in determining the flavor of the batches.

Person reviewing roasted coffee beans

Roasts in general fall into one of four categories: light, medium, medium-dark and dark. Each one has different color and specific flavor.

Infographic with different colors of coffee roasts

Light Roasts

Light roasts have a light brown color with no oil on the surface. They taste like toasted grain and have a distinctive acidity.

Medium Roasts

Medium roasts are a medium brown color and with a slightly heavier body than light roasts. They have more caffeine than darker roasts with more balanced flavor, aroma, and acidity.

Medium-Dark Roasts

A rich, dark color is the hallmark of a Medium-dark roast. They have some oil on the surface of the beans and a heavier body compared to lighter roasts.

Dark Roasts

Dark roasted coffee is a deep brown color and often looks almost black. They have a layer of oil on the surface and has a bitter, sometimes burnt, taste.

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Have any questions? Our Coffee Experts will be more than happy to help

Call: 1-800-GO-BRITT


E-mail: [email protected]

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